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John Laurens

John LaurensBorn: 28-Oct-1754
Birthplace: Charleston, SC
Died: 27-Aug-1782
Location of death: Combahee River
Cause of death: War
Remains: Buried, Laurens Family Cemetery, Moncks Corner, SC

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Military

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Military aide to George Washington

Military service: Continental Army (aide to George Washington)

Born in Charleston, SC, educated in England, and on his return to America in 1777, in the height of the revolutionary struggle, he joined George Washington's staff. He soon gained his commander's confidence, which he reciprocated with the most devoted attachment, and was entrusted with the delicate duties of a confidential secretary, which he performed with much tact and skill. He was present in all Washington's battles, from Brandywine to Yorktown, and his gallantry on every occasion has gained him the title of "the Bayard of the Revolution." Laurens displayed bravery even to rashness in the storming of the Chew mansion at Germantown; at Monmouth, where he saved Washington's life, and was himself severely wounded; and at Coosahatchie, where, with a handful of men, he defended a pass against a large English force under General Augustine Prevost, and was again wounded. He fought a duel against General Charles Lee, and wounded him, on account of that officer's disrespectful conduct towards Washington. Laurens distinguished himself further at Savannah, and at the siege of Charleston in 1780. After the capture of Charleston by the English, he rejoined Washington, and was selected by him as a special envoy to appeal to the king of France for supplies for the relief of the American armies, which had been brought by prolonged service and scanty pay to the verge of dissolution. The more active co-operation of the French fleets with the land forces in Virginia, which was one result of his mission, brought about the disaster of Cornwallis at Yorktown. Laurens lost no time in rejoining the army, and at Yorktown was at the head of an American storming party which captured an advanced redoubt. Laurens was designated with the vicomte de Noailles to arrange the terms of the surrender, which virtually ended the war, although desultory skirmishing, especially in the South, attended the months of delay before peace was formally concluded. In one of these trifling affairs on the 27th of August 1782, Oh the Combahee river, Laurens exposed himself needlessly and was killed. Washington lamented deeply the death of Laurens, saying of him, "He had not a fault that I could discover, unless it were intrepidity bordering upon rashness."

Father: Henry Laurens (statesman, b. 1724, d. 1792)
Mother: Eleanor Ball (d. 1770)
Wife: Martha Manning (m. 26-Oct-1776)
Daughter: Frances-Eleanor (b. Feb-1777, d. 1860)

    Duel: Pistols against General Charles Lee (23-Dec-1778)
    Taken Prisoner of War Charleston, SC (May-1780)
    Horse Shot from Under Battle of Monmouth
    Shot: Battle
    Huguenot Ancestry

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